Thursday, March 14, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Bowen Basin Women Take Out Top Qld Resources Awards

Three engineers, a dragline operator and a workplace support manager have taken out this year’s Resources Awards for Women.


The event was hosted on International Women’s Day by the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) and Women in Mining and Resources Queensland (WIMARQ) to celebrate the contribution of women to the state’s number one export industry. 


The QRC was pleased to welcome Queensland Premier Steven Miles to the event, who presented this year’s Exceptional Woman in Queensland Resources award to Head of BHP’s Global Resource Engineering Excellence, Sonia Winter. Sonia’s outstanding career in resources began 20 years ago when she was one of the first women employed through BHP’s graduate mining engineer program. She spent many years working in Central Queensland as a mining engineer, including as General Manager of Poitrel coal mine.

The event featured an array of high-achieving women led by global business leader and keynote speaker BHP President Australia Geraldine Slattery, and new QRC Chief Executive Officer Janette Hewson.

Ms Hewson said the number of women working in Queensland’s resources sector had almost doubled over the past 20 years to reach a record 22.1 per cent (8,552 FTE) of the industry’s total workforce. 


“The resources sector is making good progress towards reaching our target of 30 per cent female participation by 2026, but our members are working hard to employ more women at a faster rate to meet this milestone,” Ms Hewson said. 


“26.1 per cent of Executive Management positions in Queensland’s resources sector are now held by women, which is almost double the level of representation in 2015-16, with the proportion of women working in operational and production roles growing by 58 per cent over the same period. 


“Significantly, the number of women in trade roles has increased by almost 40 per cent over the past year, in a clear sign our industry is becoming more diverse and inclusive in its attraction, recruitment and retention programs." 


This year’s Exceptional Young Woman in Queensland Resources Ashara Moore is a FIFO engineer who works at BHP’s Saraji coal mine in Dysart. After starting her career as the sole engineer on construction projects in remote areas, Ashara is now a portfolio lead where she heads a team of engineers and is responsible for over $45 million in capital projects. 


Moranbah State High School Year 12 student and school captain Lexi Croce is this year’s Exceptional Female QMEA Student. The QMEA is the education arm of the QRC which delivers STEM and trade workshops and camps to students at 100 Queensland schools. Lexi has been actively involved with QMEA programs and is a member of her school’s STEM Innovation Experience Team which won last year’s state competition. She is driven by the idea of finding electrical solutions to make mining operations more efficient and environmentally friendly.   


Caption: Moranbah State High School Year 12 student Lexi Croce is this year’s Exceptional Female QMEA Student

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